Have you ever wondered what a serial killer would do if someone called their cell in the middle of one of their kills. Would they take the call, ignore it, or send it straight to voicemail? Would they even have their cell phone with them?
Showtime’s television series, Dexter (Watch seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix Streaming to your iPad), has an answer to this question. If you’re not familiar with the show, the main character is Dexter Morgan a serial killer who works as a member of the Miami Metro police department forensics team. But unlike other serial killers, Dexter lives by a code that restricts his killings to guilty murders. Throughout the show, Dexter finds his victims, traps them down and proceeds to “judge” them guilty of their crimes with the punishment of death. Periodically while in the middle of ending someone Dexter receives a phone call from his wife, sister, or boss. And each time they call Dexter answers the phone to see what they need.
Lucky for Dexter, he doesn’t have an iPhone. If he did the iPhone would be his smoking gun.
Your iPhone is Tracking You
Earlier this week it was discovered that the iPhone likes to keep track of where we’ve been. Writing continually to a hidden database your physical location with a time and date stamp. This information is then available for open source software or other applications to utilize to plot out on a map everywhere you’ve been and when you’ve been there.
If Dexter owned an iPhone his alibis wouldn’t last too long as his phone would speak the truth about his locations during the time of death of his victims.
This iPhone “feature” that Apple failed to mention with the release of iOS 4, is actively backed-up to your computer every time you sync your phone. The information is stored on your mobile device and your computer and currently doesn’t appear to being used for much. It is believed that Apple maybe using this information to help test and prepare for future location based apps or functionality.
See Where You’ve Been
Developers have already created an app to help show what data the iPhone has about you and where you’ve been. iPhone Tracker is free and quick and easy to use. Download and run the application and you’ll instantly see a map with dots representing where you’ve been or your iPhone has pinged a cell tower.
I’m sure there are a number of legal cases where lawyers are looking if they can use this information to help convict or defend their clients. I’m sure from now on criminals will leave their phones at home when participating in shady activities.
Apple has received a lot of negative press related to the data stored on the iPhone without a user having the option to opt-out of the data recording and I imagine that it won’t be long before Apple releases an iOS update that allows this tracking functionality to be easily disabled. It doesn’t make sense for Apple to remove the feature, as they included it for a reason. I imagine that we’ll also see future apps or mapping tools released by Apple that will utilize this service. I’m sure advertisers would also love to get their hands on each users tracking data.
Where have you been lately? Download the iPhone Tracker and see what your iPhone can tell about you.